Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tutorial for Cheapskates

It will come as no surprise to you that I am pro-Halloween.

I love it.

When else does one have the opportunity to (legitimately) use vegetables and spider webs as decor, I ask you?


Black and white, bats and skulls, orange and witches: what's not to love?


Each year, I make intricate plans to buy hundreds of pumpkins, spray paint them black, white, and gold, and throw a Halloween gala, the likes of which no one has ever dreamed could come to pass (except maybe Martha Stewart - that lady has some wild dreams).

And then I remember that I don't have any "real" friends. Only cyber friends (that's you).

And my husband doesn't "get" spending money on seasonal decorations. Or any decorations, for that matter. Or celebrations. Or furniture. Or clothes...


Once again, the party idea was put on the back burner this year.

But I DID finally get around to making a few festive home enhancements, thanks to two cans of $.97 black spray paint.

And I guess slowly collecting creepy-themed adornments is the first step in the twelve step program I call, "Halloween Party of the Future: I Really AM Going to Do It One of These Days, and, Baby, When I Do, You Won't Believe the Awesomeness."

And now, behold, my first tutorial(s):

First, paint lots of twigs black.
Have nowhere to put them, so paint an ugly, broken urn you found in the garage black.
Add a bird from the Dollar Store.

Next, decide last year that your family silhouettes wall needs seasonal revamping.
Then scour the internet for cool, non-cartoony Halloween silhouettes to print off. For weeks. And weeks.
Resign yourself to the fact that you are on your own, and draft personalized versions of eight different online outlines.
Edit to five.
Cuss yourself out for giving Dracula the tiniest candelabra known to mankind.

Frame them, and hang them up. Heck, add another bird while you're at it. THEN realize you don't like the mouse.
Go back to the drawing board for a haunted house.
Impatiently don't wait for the paint to dry, and smear the tiny bat.
Swear a little under your breath, but don't redo it.

Keep the mouse, because you already spent all that time on it.
Stick it in (one of) your entry mirror's frame just for now, knowing you'll be too lazy to ever move it.
Accept it as part of your Halloween decor (along with the itunes gift card that's been there since December).

Stare at all your left-over twigs/branches, and wonder what to do with them.
Grab the big, yellow, rusty bucket from your backyard (sometimes people throwing their trash in that field behind your house pays off) and knock the dents out of it enough that it's cylindrical.
In a moment of hasty passion, paint it orange.
Cut out a stencil, and paint on a couple black skulls and cross bones.
Shove twigs in it, and place it on your front porch.
Notice that the container now looks like one of those tacky plastic Home Depot buckets you mix your grout in.
Curse yourself for not painting it black, but don't change it. What's done is done. Finally. (you know you could spruce up the gangly display, but by now you're so over the whole black twig concept. Maybe next year...)

Last, grab any clear containers you have under your sink.
Fill them with miniature skulls (Dollar Store + brown paint), leaves, and tomatillos.

And THAT, my friends, is how you decorate for Halloween for under $5.


Sawdust and Paperscraps said...

I love your 12 step program name! I love love love your silhouettes. I wish I had the patience to change out all my pictures on my collage wall but I decided against it because I'd have to repaint all the frames black too and that's just too much work.

Sharlee said...

I love every bit of it, Andy, even the mouse. You put my decorating to shame. Although, I think I have enough real cob-webs and dust to pull off a pretty spooky. $5 is MY kind of decorating---if I had 5 cents worth of gumption.

Jason said...

Love it all. And I can't believe you have had an itunes gift card for almost a year! That wouldn't last 5 seconds in this house:) Can't wait till the day that you get to have your halloween party! It will be amazing and I will come. -Amy

Michelle said...

You are simply amazing. I too have grand dreams of decorating for every holiday, but then I remember that I would have to clean it up.

Mardee Rae said...

wow, that's amazing! Five bucks-I got; it's the creativity I can't afford.
And did you really just have those awesome glass jars under your sink? I want to do this now. Too bad I've got like 20 miles of yarn to braid for a rapunzel costume, plus little braids to make for a dorothy costume (some two year-olds don't have what it takes), not to mention a giant barbie box to build. Next year.

You know, in all seriousness, a monthly tutorial on cheapskate decorating would be much appreciated. (and I'm glad you included when to curse yourself--I tend to get that mixed up and overdo it. This way I can keep it to a minimum).

Emily said...

Love it! I love that you have a family sillouette wall. I am currently in the 12 step program to someday have one of those.

Elisabeth (and Tyler) said...

Looooooooooooooooooove these. So. Much. I'm totally doing this next year. Hope you don't mind :)

The United Statements of Merica said...

You are so creative! I love all of it. I am going to copy you.. next year.
And thank you for being so detailed in your instructions, without which I would spend too long trying to figure out when to swear, with which emotions to encounter each step. but NOW it seems so simple and doable.

I LOVE those silhouettes and black twigs.

Del said...

So cute! I got those same skeleton heads in a jar at my house LOL! Love the Dollar Store but they didn't have that crow this year at mine :(